2017-01-06 Zhao Lin

As early as the 20th century, a professor of international relations in the United States in 1993, a professor of international relations at Harvard University, called Samuel Huntington, in the summer of an authoritative magazine "Diplomacy" in the United States. Published an article titled "Clash of Civilizations." So in this article, Samuel Huntington pointed out: With the time in 1993, everyone knows that in the late 1980s, there have been some major changes in the world. The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the pattern of international relations have seen great Changes, and thus the end of the Cold War era. So in this article, Samuel Huntington put forward a point that seemed sensational at the time. He believed that with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the socialist camp was no longer there, then socialism and capital. The confrontation between the two camps. From then on, it will no longer be the subject of future world conflicts. So he is based on this, he thinksThe theme of the 21st century world conflict will no longer be politics, especially the conflict between political ideology, not the conflict between socialism and capitalism. But what? He said it was a conflict of civilizations.


So what is the meaning of the so-called civilization conflict? Samuel Huntington's definition of civilization is based on traditional religious beliefs or traditional values. The conflict between several major civilized systems, then when this view was put forward, it can be said that it caused an uproar in the world. I think that Samuel Huntington’s many viewpoints in the "Clash of Civilizations" have some Western centers. The color of the doctrine, for example, he repeatedly reminded Western countries in the "Clash of Civilizations", especially the European countries to strengthen unity and strengthen alliance with the United States to jointly prevent Islam and the Confucian ethical world that may emerge in the East. The emergence of threats to the West. Well, everyone knows that in the middle of Western politics, they always look for some hypothetical enemies. When the Cold War era ended, the Soviet Union and the Soviet-led socialist camp no longer constituted a major opposite of Western capitalism. At this time, we must look for new opponents in the next century. From this point of view, this is a strategic consideration for the United States, so Samuel Huntington does provide some advice to the United States in this regard. But I think he has a certain reason for an analysis of civilization itself. So my topic today is to cut in from this place. Let's take a look at how human civilization has developed for thousands of years. It is on the basis of this history that we can make predictions about the future. There is actually a choice of “difficult” here. Otherwise, we think that history has no rules, and history has no rules to follow. If this is the case, then we do not need to make any judgments about the future. If history is entirely accidental, everything is said to happen suddenly, and there is no law to follow. Then we say that this history itself has no predictive value and meaning. On the other hand, if we believe that history itself has certain rules, and some things are inevitable, then if we are in this kind of understanding, then how do we prejudge the future? Of course, we can only rely on a path of historical development in the past. We can only infer from the past, according to our human past, according to the conditions of our human beings yesterday and today, what we humans will be tomorrow. Well, my lecture today is actually based on the latter view. I think that to know the future of our world, we must first know our yesterday and today. In particular, we need to know how we developed from yesterday to today. In this way, we can reasonably infer from this clue what kind of trend will emerge in the future. So, in this way, I will pull everyone's ideas from today, from the 21st century to 5000 years ago.


Let us start from 5,000 years ago, we have five of the earliest civilizations of human beings. Although in many of our middle school textbooks we always say that they are the four ancient civilizations, then the so-called four ancient civilizations are just the earliest civilization development. To a certain period, a relatively period of emergence in a certain stage. As a representative of a certain country, this is a general popular saying, but if we want to do research, we have to make it.


Then there are five civilizations in the original civilization of mankind. The five civilizations are from west to east. The westernmost is the Crete in the Mediterranean. A civilization on the island of Crete, we generally call it— Cretan civilization. Then go a little south here, a little to the south, in North Africa, there is an ancient Egyptian civilization in Egypt, this is the second. Then east, in the West Bank, in the two rivers, an alluvial between the Euphrates and the Tigris, there is a two-river civilization in this place, or it is generally called Mesopotamian civilization. Or, we call Sumer in its original state, and we call it Sumer, then this is universal. Further east, the Indus Valley has one of the oldest civilizations, and the civilization of the Indus Valley is called the Haraba civilization. Then, going further east, of course, is the civilization of the Yellow River Basin in China. Generally speaking, we refer to the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties. Then this is what we saidFive civilizations. After the emergence of five civilizations, we have seen a new era. If we put the first era, because of its superstitious color, we call it the mythological era.


Then in the second era we call it the heroic era. The second era is very prosperous. With the exception of India, the other three civilizations are very expanding. The Persians like to fight, not to mention the Roman Empire. Although Greece was pursuing liberalism and separatism in its early years, since the rise of the Macedonian Empire, Alexander has been pushing the Jinge Iron Horse to the East and pushing it to the Indus Valley. Then, in the Qin and Han dynasties of China, we all know that it is also an era of heavy martial arts. In the Qin and Han dynasties, the husbands like to live in the battlefield, serve the motherland, and want to "the horses are wrapped in corpses," and do not like long-term work between the pens. At this point, when everyone watched the class super-pencils, the rhetoric at that time showed a common mentality at that time. Everyone despise the text, that is, civil servants or engage in cultural activities. They pay more attention to the expansion of force. We say that there is a so-called male and prosperous Tang Dynasty in Chinese history. The Han Dynasty is more magnificent. The "Xiong" is powerful. The "Xiong" can be said to be a soldier and a war. The Tang Dynasty was very prosperous and it was a prosperous culture. Therefore, there are more peaceful contacts. But in the Qin and Han Dynasties, the Chinese like to fight, so it can be said that there are frequent conflicts between these empires. It may be a conflict between two civilizations, or it may be a conflict between a civilization and other nomadic barbarians. Both conflicts have.


Shortly after the emergence of the third generation of civilization, from the 12th century, another big nomadic invader began again. So what is the biggest feature of this third-generation civilization? It is that it has begun to have its own, and these civilized regions have their own high-level religious or ethical value system. That is to say, in the case of the one I just mentioned, this time the civilization is mature, and these civilizations are mature, and they all have the spiritual pillar that they will never fall. Under such a foundation, these civilizations are not easily assimilated by other civilizations and completely changed. Or it can hardly be done. Whether you use violent intrusion or economic penetration, you can't fundamentally change its cultural status quo. So, in this way, we say that after the emergence of these civilizations themselves, they are relatively stable. Of course, in religion, in the third generation we called it the religious era. In the religious era, it was the civilization based on the four major religious ethical value systems. The conflict between the two, the confrontation between civilizations, then this confrontation in the West, my West mainly refers to the two in the west, and there is constant friction between Christianity and Islam. First, with the rise of Islam in the 7th century AD The beginning of a round of mighty Islamist Western invasion movement, Muslims invaded.


It can be said that from the rise of Islam in the 7th century AD, to the last Ottoman Turks in 1682, the Ottoman Turks who believe in Islam, the last time they intimidated Vienna, it can be said that for 1000 years, we can say that the whole West, these two The basic trend of civilization, Islam and Christian civilization is that the east wind overwhelm the west wind. Christians also went through several backhands in the middle, but basically they were unsuccessful. Since the 11th century, the Christian world has organized the so-called "Crusade Crusade", which is actually a counterattack against Islam and against Western invasion of Muslims. But what is the result of this counterattack? In addition to the temporary and military victory of the first Crusade, other subsequent sports ended in failure, and the subsequent eight were actually farce. One of them turned into a robbery against Constantinople. It was originally taken to Constantinople to fight Islamists. In turn, the Orthodox brothers of Constantinople were robbed. Because the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church belong to the same Christianity. Then there was another so-called "Children's Crusade", a German and a French shepherd boy who organized a children's crusade. These are 13-year-old and 14-year-old teenagers. The people organized the army, and then they went to the east to conquer the Islamists, but they were trafficked by some traffickers before they even went to the Mediterranean. It was some farce.


So we said that the whole situation was like this, this important era. Then when the West is inseparable, we say that the Muslims’ Western invasion can be said to be the fourth round of the East and the West. After the levy of Alexander and the Romans, the Muslim invasion was the fourth round. In fact, we started from the Trojan War, that is, there have been four rounds between the Middle East and the West. Then we look at the East again. When the West is a world of Islam and Christianity, we find that the Confucian ethical world in the east is very harmonious with the Hindu and Buddhist worlds. Hinduism and Buddhism, we say that it is a flexible culture. I don't like to fight, I don't like to resort to force when I can't move. And it is often refuted in a peaceful way, and Buddhism has no contention. When Hinduism first appeared, it also had such characteristics. Then our Chinese Confucian ethics is that "harmony" is expensive. Our Chinese Confucian ethics, from the perspective of humanity and against hegemony, is such that there is no positive conflict between the two cultures, no direct military conflict, but peaceful exchanges.


Then, in the late period of the religious era, it was actually from the 12th century. When these four religious ethical value systems developed their own culture in their own systems of ideas, we found that there were some on the Eurasian steppe. The unrest factor is turbulent there. Then this factor can be said to be from the Turks on the grasslands of Central Asia, and then the protagonists are the Mongolians who originally lived on the Mongolian plateau in northern China. Then the Turks began to take the lead, followed by the Mongolian singer and launched the third major invasion of the farming world by the nomadic world. The result of this large invasion has led to the demise of many countries, but it has not fundamentally changed the status quo of the four major religious ethical value systems. What are the reasons? We have already said that because the four major religious ethical value systems have these four major civilizations, and with their own high-level religious ethical value system, it is impossible to fundamentally change, and it is impossible to appear, like the former The morphological changes have taken place.


It can be said that after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the West began a series of ideological changes, the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Enlightenment, and then began to promote political changes, and the bourgeoisie gained political power. In the end, it led to the industrial revolution and the industrial revolution. A strong West began to rise in the northwest of this Eurasian continent. At the same time, at the same time, the West began to carry out maritime activities and carried out geographical discoveries. The result of marine activities is a condition for capitalism to expand. Because of the phenomenon of capitalism, it is a world phenomenon. Once it is created, it must extend its reach to all inhabited regions of the world. Capitalism cannot develop in one region or one country. So in this way, one is internal reform, and the other is external expansion, which makes the West quickly emerge in the later development. Even after the 17th century, we began to discover from the 18th century that a brand new West began to appear. In the middle of the history of civilization in the whole world, and at this time, it appears in the industrial world, a new industrial world, replacing the traditional nomadic world, and constitutes a strong opponent of the farming world that is now flooded like a sea.


So from the 15th and 16th centuries, we said that from the time of the fall of Constantinople, from that time on, the nomadic world’s conflict with the farming world was over. The theme of the nomadic world’s conflict with the farming world is over. A new theme has begun to emerge, and that is what we just said, the conflict between the Western industrial civilization that first appeared in North West Europe and the vast majority of other agricultural civilizations. Therefore, in the final stage, we said that with the invasion of the Mongols, after this stage is over, this is the emerging, Western industrial civilization.

The industrial world's invasion and cultural integration of the traditional farming world. Then this fusion is from the 18th century, the globalization of Westernization and colonization in the past 200 years. The result of this Westernization and colonization wave has made all non-Western worlds and non-Christian worlds in the world become Western. The colonies and semi-colonies, or in a sense, all became Western colonies and semi-colonies from the end of the 19th century.


With the wave of Westernization and colonization, the four major civilizations have regained political independence and economic independence. We have seen these regions begin to look for their own modernization starting point from among their traditional roots. China has proposed to build socialism with Chinese characteristics or modernization with Chinese characteristics. Then the two sides of the strait have reached a consensus that we are all descendants of the Yellow Emperor. We are all Chinese people. We are all descendants of Chinese culture. At this point, a consensus has been reached. To a large extent, the Confucian ethical thoughts can be said to have re-recovered. On the other hand, we have seen the emergence of India’s call to establish a modern India with Hinduism.


In the Islamic world, religious identity has begun. Under Islamic identity, everyone feels that we are all Muslims. There is a historical barrier to the West, or a kind of hatred caused by history. This is not difficult to understand.


Well, we also say that the Christian world has always been recognized by Christianity, so we say that with the end of such a political ideology. Let us see that what is happening in the world is the recovery of several traditional religious ethical value systems. We don't say whether the recovery itself is good or not. I don't want to make value judgments. But in fact, it is a fact. Today, we can see this cultural identity, which seems to increasingly replace the content of political ideology. In this sense, we say "clash of civilizations", the word may not be appropriate, but I said that "the confrontation of civilization" must be a fact in the 21st century. The confrontation of this civilization, which may lead to violent conflicts between civilizations, but it also provides a humanitarian platform for peaceful dialogue and equal dialogue between civilizations, because only on the basis of mutual recognition of the value of each other’s civilization, This kind of dialogue is truly equal and humanitarian. Otherwise, it is like in the process of global westernization, that is the dialogue between the master and the servant. This dialogue is always unequal and inhuman, so in this sense, I think that the whole history is traced. After the process, I believe that this global divide between the two major religious ethical value systems, or the division, will be re-emerged in the future world. Of course, every system of religious ethical values may appear in a new posture after a baptism of Westernization, after undergoing a Westernization baptism, with a self-renewal. Just as the West has experienced the catastrophe of 1453, it has updated itself in a new way. Therefore, in this sense, I believe that the future world is bounded by the four major civilizations, but these four civilizations are different from the original four civilizations. It must go through a process of self-renewal and self-reconstruction, so in this sense, I think that Huntington’s view on the conflict of civilization still has some reasonable points. Although I prefer to replace the concept of "clash of civilizations" with "the confrontation of civilization."



This article is excerpted from "Zhao Lin on Civilization Conflict and Cultural Evolution". Zhao Lin, Ph.D., is currently a professor and doctoral supervisor at the Department of Philosophy at Wuhan University. He is the author of "Coordination and Transcendence - Discussion of Chinese Mode of Thinking", "The Inspiration of God's Purpose - The Tradition and Evolution of Western Culture", "The Civilization Form", "The Philosophy of Hegel", "Western Religious Culture", "Farewell to the Floodland - The Evolution of Human Civilization", "The Soul of Romance - Jean-Jacques Rousseau". In August 2000, as the head coach, the Wuhan University debate team won the championship at the second national college debate held by CCTV.


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